Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What Charlie Does

Charlie is a busy guy.  When Calvin and Miles talk, it's like a little window that opens up and lets me into their world for a moment.  But for Charlie, it is what he does.  Charlie is, by far, our most imaginative, creative son.  He is constantly creating and pretending.  Each of my kids have qualities that remind me of myself when I was a child.  With Charlie it is this unending flow of ideas, and the impulse to bring them to life.

When Charlie was about 3 or 4 he started making "collections".  He would gather an assortment of items, and arrange them, or sometimes carry them in a bag.  We thought of it as a phase at first, but as the years pass, this collecting has evolved into an art.  It often has themes, or serves a purpose in a game he is playing, or simply exists to add a certain asthetic to Charlie's life for that moment.  He gets a lot of satisfaction from this activity.  He arranges, steps back to examine, moves back in and re-arranges until his eye sees perfection.  He is proud of his creations, and will come get us to show us his finished installation. 

Over the past year or so I have snapped photos of some of Charlie's creations.  All of these are Charlie's sole works, inspired, built, and completed all on his own, with no help or hindrance from mom or dad.  Charlie utilizes materials scavenged from his day to day life.  And yes, he really does name them.

This one is called "House", and was created with moving boxes.

This creation uses common household items, and is called "Lemonade Stand".

A sculpture made from the ordinary play things of childhood.  Aptly titled "Monster Trucks".

This is a wearable installation consisting of cowboy boots, two baseball mitts, and sound dampening ear muffs.  Untitled.

This one is a pile of squash and melons arranged beside the grandfather clock.  The original installation also included two beer bottles (promptly recycled before it could be photographed) and was titled "Breakfast".

Sometimes Charlie uses materials he finds in the natural environment.  Here he works on a wall made from stones from a creek bed in Truckee, California.

This is an arrangement of food representing a nutritious snack, aptly named "Snack Time".

This sculpture involved precision, balance, and variety.  It is called "Garbage Truck", and seems to represent the temporary nature of "things".

This is Charlie's most recent creation, which he whipped up while we were visiting family over Thanksgiving.  It is titled, "Christmas", and represents the importance of play-things in the life of a child.

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